All things point to a wide-open race in the Mayflower League this winter.
BLUE HILLS (6-14-0)
Home Rink: Canton Ice House
Blue Hills should have a good chance to move into the upper echelon of the Mayflower this season with 13 players returning and experience at all positions on the ice.
Seniors Brendan Spinale, John DiLetizia and Joe Picard will lead the defense and also should be big parts of the Warriors attack with their two-way play.
They will supplement a strong cast of returning forwards – seniors Aidan Manning, Jason DiLetizia, Matt Ruble, Josh Tucker and Frankie Kelley, junior Chris Lee, and sophomores Chris Sarno, Tristan McDonough and Jake Curley.
Coach Dave Tapper also welcomes a strong freshman class that includes Bobby Sample, J.J. Martin, Aidan McFadden, Rory Sullivan, Ben Greenwood and Zach Dean.
Sophomore Frankie Pungitore is back in net for the Warriors.
Home Rink: Driscoll Arena, Fall River
Coming off a Division 3 South tournament berth in 2018-19, coach Lenny Dutra Jr. expects the Bengals to be a factor in the Mayflower race this season.
Diman has some returning upperclassmen, but still will be a young squad that Dutra says will have to have a blue-collar approach. They will for solid play from the goal out, starting with senior Zack Medeiros in net and juniors Will Calef and Adam Gillet on the blue line.
Offensively, the Bengals will lean on senior right wing Noah Jean as well as senior center Karson Dias top pick up the slack after graduating their top three scorers from last season.
Look for a pair of freshmen – forward Triston Birkett and goalie Cameron Mattos – to play roles this season.
SACRED HEART (7-15-0)
Home Rink: The Bog Kingston
The Saints will be incredibly young this season with only one senior and three juniors, and the rest of the roster filled out with seven sophomores, seven eight-graders and a seventh-grader.
Forward Maxwell Allen will be coach Sean Coady’s only senior, with junior forward Blake LaGrassa and goalie Bradley Staruski the only other returning upperclassmen. Junior Evan Viola is among the newcomers.
Sophomore forward Mario Pangione and defenseman Michael Mayo also are back.
SOUTHEASTERN/W. BRIDGEWATER/BRISTOL-PLYMOUTH (18-5-1)
Home Rink: Raynham Iceplex
The Hawks will be in a bit of a rebuilding mode after graduating six seniors off the team that won Mayflower and State Vocational championships for the third consecutive season.
However, the cupboard hardly is bare for coach Mark Cabral, who will look to senior captain Matt Lavoie (22-21-43) to step into the leadership role. Juniors Adam Falcione, Auden Wells, and senior George Vallee also could play bigger roles in the forward spots for the Hawks.
Defensively the Hawks should be in good shape with senior Shane Linehan, junior Liam Lydon and sophomore Matt English. Cabral expects the defense and power play will need to continue to be team strengths.
Junior goalie Colton Teague will battle for the starting spot with fellow junior Chris Pratt and sophomore Ryan LeBaron, both up from junior varsity.
SOUTH SHORE (0-20-0)
Home Rink: Rockland Ice Arena
Last season was as tough as it could get for the Vikings, who had just one senior and not a lot of experience as they withstood a winless campaign. The good news is longtime coach Derek Mariani now has seven seniors and solid skaters at both ends of the ice.
Defensemen Gavan Scanlon and Paul Novicki are two of the most experienced seniors, along with senior wing Sean Lovell (5-5-10). Junior wing Marcus Bouzan (4-6-10) also is back at forward along with sophomores Cole Sheehan (4-3-7) and Preston Channell (5-2-7).
Freshman Connor Paquette should step in between the pipes for the Vikings.
Home Rink: Pirelli Veterans Rink, Franklin
As coach Mark Spillane enters his 10th season, he is confident he has a Cougars team that can put up a good battle against all of its Mayflower opponents.
Senior forward Jake Morgan (4-9-13) is the top returning scorer, and junior Bryce Dalzell (1-2-3) all returns up front. Sophomore Cameron King is a newcomer to watch at forward.
Junior Brody Dalzell (5-4-9) also provides offense and two-way play from the defense, where he is joined on the blue line by junior Kyle Mastroianni (3-4-7).
“The team this year should be competitive,” Spillane said, “they are a good group of players, playing for one goal.”
UPPER CAPE (15-6-0)
Home Rink: Gallo Ice Arena, Bourne
The Rams have the potential to challenge for the top spot in the Mayflower, partly with senior assistant captain Will Hanly back in net.
Senior Kevin Flynn will be captain for coach Bob Conley’s Rams and leads the forward group with senior John Driscoll and sophomore Cam Lumsden.
Upper Cape’s most experience is on defense, where senior assistant captain Colin Souza is joined by seniors John Hollett and Seth Tomasik, and sophomores Brendan Pokraka and Max Bowman.